Over 130 Environmental Groups Oppose Deep Cuts to Environment in the President’s Budget Proposal

March 16, 2017

March 16, 2017

Dear Senator/Representative:

On behalf of our millions of members and supporters nationwide, we write to strongly oppose the damaging cuts to conservation, natural resources and environmental programs in the President’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget request.

These critical conservation and natural resource programs account for just over 1 percent of the federal budget, yet they provide invaluable benefits: clean air for children to breathe, clean water for families to drink, healthy public lands and rivers that support a booming outdoor recreation economy, vibrant wildlife populations, sustainable fisheries, resilient ecosystems, and renewable energy that helps address climate change and powers a clean, sustainable future. These benefits are foundational to the U.S. economy and create high quality American jobs that cannot be exported.

Our environment and natural resource management agencies have seen their budgets cut and their workforce dwindle for years. This has resulted in many serious consequences: reduced scientific research and monitoring, inadequate conservation and land management actions, growing maintenance backlogs, reduced visitor services and recreational investments, and other impacts. There is a significant and growing need for Congress and the Administration to invest in conservation programs, yet this budget would do the exact opposite.

Over the past several decades, investments in conservation and environmental programs have fallen dramatically. The Congressional Budget Office projects that in the next decade federal non-defense spending will fall to the lowest level ever recorded, as a percentage of GDP.

Americans deserve a federal budget that protects public health, prioritizes conservation, addresses climate change, and ensures the world we leave our children is cleaner, healthier and more sustainable than the one we inherited. Our federal agencies have been doing everything in their power to tighten their belts and do more with less, but years of repeated budget cuts have taken their toll. This budget proposal would exacerbate an already difficult situation and leave the health of our communities and our environment hanging in the balance.

Furthermore, we were alarmed at the many policy riders in the FY17 appropriations bills that threaten the environment and undermine environmental protections. We urge that this year’s appropriations process keep bills clean of these riders. Anti-environmental riders do not enjoy the support of Americans who value clean air, water, lands and wildlife, and only serve to threaten an already challenged appropriations process.

Congress should reject this devastating budget proposal and anti-environmental riders and restore much needed funding to conservation and natural resources programs. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Alaska Wilderness League

American Bird Conservancy

American Forests

American Rivers

American Society of Landscape Architects

Arizona Conservation Partners

Arizona Wilderness Coalition

Audubon Society of the Everglades

Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT)

Biodiversity for a Livable Climate

Bluestem Communications

Cahaba River Society

California Wilderness Coalition

Californians for Western Wilderness

Center for Biological Diversity

Charles River Watershed Association

Citizens Campaign for the Environment

Clean Water Action

Coastal Coordination Program, The Ocean Foundation

Committee on the Middle Fork Vermilion River

Conservancy of Southwest Florida

Conservation Lands Foundation

Conservatives for Responsible Stewardship

Conserve Southwest Utah

Crow Canyon Archeological Center

Defenders of Wildlife

Delaware Highlands Conservancy

Delaware Nature Society

Delta Institute

Earthjustice

Earthworks

Endangered Species Coalition

Environment America

Environment Arizona

Environment California

Environment Colorado

Environment Connecticut

Environment Florida

Environment Georgia

Environment Illinois

Environment Iowa

Environment Maine

Environment Maryland

Environment Massachusetts

Environment Michigan

Environment Minnesota

Environment Missouri

Environment Montana

Environment Nevada

Environment New Hampshire

Environment New Jersey

Environment New Mexico

Environment New York

Environment North Carolina

Environment Ohio

Environment Oregon

Environment Rhode Island

Environment Texas

Environment Virginia

Environment Washington

Environmental Defense Action Fund

Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC)

Environmental Working Group

Florida Wildlife Federation

Food & Water Watch

Friends of Alewife Reservation

Friends of Organ Mountains – Desert Peaks

Friends of the Earth

Friends of the Kalmiopsis

Friends of the Mississippi River

Friends of the Sonoran Desert

Friends of the St. Joe River Association

Friends of the Upper Delaware River

Galveston Bay Foundation

Gathering Waters

Grand Canyon Trust

GreenLatinos

Gulf Restoration Network

Heart of the Lakes

Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters - USA - JPIC

Illinois Council of Trout Unlimited

Indiana Wildlife Federation

International Fund for Animal Welfare

Interfaith Power & Light

Iowa Environmental Council

Islanders for the San Juan Islands National Monument

Izaak Walton League of America

Izaak Walton League of America – National Great Lakes Committee

Kentucky Resources Council

Kentucky Waterways Alliance

Klamath Forest Alliance

Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center

Lake Champlain Committee

League of Conservation Voters

Los Padres ForestWatch

Marine Conservation Institute

Milwaukee Riverkeeper

Missouri Coalition for the Environment

National Audubon Society

National Parks Conservation Association

Natural Resources Defense Council

Nature Abounds

New Hampshire Rivers Council

Nor’East Chapter of Trout Unlimited

North Carolina Conservation Network

Ocean Conservancy

Ocean River Institute

Oceana

Ohio Environmental Council

Ohio River Foundation

Oregon Natural Desert Association

Partnership for the National Trails System

PennEnvironment

Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited

Religious Coalition for the Great Lakes

Restore America’s Estuaries

River Network

Rivers & Birds

Rogue Riverkeeper

San Juan Citizens Alliance

Save the Bay

Save the River – Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper

Scenic America

Sierra Club

Soda Mountain Wilderness Council

Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance

Tennessee Clean Water Network

The Conservation Alliance

The Trust for Public Land

The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay

The Wilderness Society

Tuleyome

Western New York Environmental Alliance

Wisconsin Environment

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